Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Spanish Container Terminal and New Freight Forwarding Offices Open for Business

Successful Start for Muelle Prat whilst Country's Third Largest Forwarder Opens Offices
Shipping News Feature

SPAIN – CANARY ISLANDS - Earlier this month, Terminal Catalunya (TERCAT), a member of the Hutchinson Port Holdings (HPH) group, subsidiary of Hutchinson Whampoa Limited (HWL), announced the first vessel call at its new terminal Muelle Prat, signifying the start of the testing phase which will cover all equipment and IT systems. The unloading of containers from the Mediterranean Shipping Company’s MSC Esha ran smoothly, demonstrating the successful integration of the terminal equipment with HPH’s proprietary terminal operating system nGen. It is expected that productivity at the terminal will set new standards for the Port of Barcelona, where Muelle Prat is located. A total of 436 containers were handled, achieving an average productivity rate of 30 moves per crane per hour.

Muelle Prat is the first semi-automated terminal in the HPH global network of ports and we wrote of the developing facility last year. The terminal is scheduled to be fully operational during 2013 and when completely built, it will have 1,500 metres of quay, a depth of 16.5 meters and a 100 hectare yard. Muelle Prat terminal is the most technologically advanced port development project in Spain and is capable of serving multiple mega-vessels simultaneously. It has an eight-track railway facility, and the biggest on-dock railway terminal of any port in the Mediterranean connecting it to traffic coming from, and destined for, Southern Europe.

Meanwhile in other Spanish news Operinter, network Member of the FPS group of independent forwarders, has announced the opening of three new offices in Malaga and the Canary Islands. Operinter Malaga is the company’s fifteenth office in mainland Spain. Based at Malaga Airport, strategically-located for one of Andalucia’s two large industrial areas, and within easy reach of the port of Algeciras, the new office will provide the company’s usual range of multi-modal forwarding and consolidation services both for local business and Operinter’s customers in other parts of Spain.

The company has also launched a new subsidiary - Operinter Canarias S.A. – with branches in Tenerife and Las Palmas. Both locations incorporate warehouse facilities, and will provide export forwarding by air and ocean (both FCL and LCL), import and export clearance, domestic transport and distribution. The new operations are expected to handle a wide variety of commodities to and from the Spanish mainland, as well as other parts of the world.

Operinter is now Spain’s third largest freight forwarding organisation, with 17 branches in Spain and additional operations in Argentina, Cuba and China. Sister company Traimer has four further offices in Spain. Collectively, the group’s forwarding activities exceeded €128 million turnover in the last financial year.

Photo: Muelle Prat's first heavily laden caller moored quayside.